By Kate Hughes
June 9, 2020
The story of the founding of Days Inn—now Days Inn by Wyndham—has an almost mythic quality. In 1969, Cecil B. Day was on a cross-country road trip with his family and had difficulty finding well-priced and clean hotels where they could stay. So, he decided to open a hotel—the first Days Inn—on Georgia’s Tybee Island in 1970. Then he opened a second. By 1972, the brand was franchised, and after just eight years of franchise-related growth, there were roughly 300 Days Inns. The brand has been growing ever since. Today, there are more than 1,400 Days Inn properties in the United States and just under 1,700 or so properties globally.
It was also during his tenure with Days Inn that Leven co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). “We became a major funder and creators of that organization, which has been a real substantive foundation for the growth of Asian American hoteliers over the years,” he says.